Pet Peeves Part III
Without further ado, Pet Peeves III:
Emilio writes:: I understand how well Sergio (Garcia) has played this year, but for him to jump over Padraig Harrington to No. 3 after Padraig won back-to-back majors and three out of the last six majors ...The world ranking system needs to be looked into. I can see a case for Sergio and Vijay (Singh) to bounce around the world rankings, but is difficult to even see Vijay ahead of Padraig. I'm curious of what you think about the world rankings. Are they just numbers with no substance or are they worth talking about?
The numbers are worth talking about. And like the BCS, there will almost always be a party that rightfully feels wronged. No system is perfect. But the Official World Golf Ranking could, at least, come up with a Web site that makes it results a little more accessible a little more quickly and a little more comprehensible. And thats just for starters.
Brooke writes:: The disgusting spitting on the green and the sucko ball retriever thingy on the end of the putter are definitely annoying. Let's add the jerks who dig the ball out of the hole with their putter (again, too lazy to bend over) and trash the edges of the cup. Also, a pox on the dimwits who tomahawk the green with their putters when they miss a putt. Let's hope Matt Garza of the Rays never takes up golf ' his pre-shot spitting routine would make the course unplayable!
Theres no crying in baseball and there should be no spitting in golf.
Peter writes:: Pet Peeves ' when Johnny Miller refers to a shot as easy. I think the word he's looking for is straightforward. Golf is not an easy game. It's a difficult game. Also, when a commentator says a player is within two strokes of the lead when they're actually two strokes off the lead. To be within two strokes, they'd need to be one stroke off the lead. Small things, but peevish nonetheless.
Reasonable points. One of my pet peeves, though, is anybody who thinks being on the hot side of the camera, attached to a live mike, during a golf telecast is easy.
John writes:: My pet peeve is people who talk for a living (such as sports announcers) being unable to speak proper English. The worst examples are: ' a/an: the use of an seems to be disappearing ' He hit a 8-iron. Good/well: I am a good player, and I played well, NOT I played good. Pronunciation of the: pronounced thuh all the time instead of thuh club, but thee 8-iron. The rule is: thee when followed by a vowel sound, thuh when followed by a consonant sound. The death of the adverb: many of you drop the ly from adverbs, e.g., He played fantastic. It should be He played fantastically. or He played fantastic golf. Even the ones who know well from good say, He played real well, instead of He played really well. There are other offenders, but these are the most grating. You, Johnny Miller, Renton Laidlaw, Warren Humphreys and Nick Faldo are pretty good. Most of the others are not Scottish as in: If it's not Scottish, it's crap!'
The Comebacker will refuse to believe the adverb is dead until The New York Times tells him it is.
Bill writes:: Sorry if this has already been addressed but my pet peeve is going to the course driving range for a much needed practice session that I had to work into my limited schedule, trying to concentrate on my swing in an attempt to improve it and be barraged by self-important members that feel they have to multi-task and hit practice balls while they talk on the cell phone. I am sure you will think me too sensitive but I haven't learned how to stop my swing like Tiger or continue through undisturbed when one of these captains of industry increases the volume of their conversation just as I start the downswing on an attempt that I spent a lot of time preparing to make. I must be from the wrong generation but I grew up where you were more reverent on the golf course than you were at church.
Bill is The Comebackers hero-of-the-week. And Amen.
Bill writes:: Drives me nuts when I hear an announcer say Phil just hit his patented flop shot or Tiger hit his patented stinger. If it were patented, then other players would have to pay a royalty not be able to use the shot because they aren't the patent holder. Makes no sense if you have a clue what a patent is.
It is patently obvious that Bill is a little oversensitive on this one. And, hey, quit picking on announcers.
George writes:: I am happy to share my biggest pet peeve with you. It is the use of the word at ending a sentence. This happens quite often with the Tour announcers who should certainly know better. I have never seen a sentence that was not complete without the word at stuck on the end. I have found that all sports announcers and their guests on the TV programs are really bad about using quite a bit of incorrect grammar, but the golf announcers are well educated and should know better. Please share this information with all of them. David Feherty wrote a really good article in the October Golf Magazine about the redundancy he has found among the golf announcers. All of them should read it and make an effort to improve.
I will gladly read the Feherty piece if you can tell me where its at.
Matt writes:: I have to complain about all of the complaining. (Redundancy has its own reward). I want to defend your colleagues in the broadcast booth. Sure they may overuse some of the following terms but I must insist that said terms do have merit. I'm tired of all of the whining about terms and those with the apparent inability to understand them. First, I have to address that the imagination of some players is superior to others. Have you ever seen Phil's backward flop shot from a severe downhill lie? Where do you think he came up with that one, in his pancreas? No, he used his superior thought processes to reason that it could be done and wealth of skill to create a method. Sounds imaginative to me. Makeable putts are putts you can hole reasonably often with little-to-mild difficulty. The alternative is a lag putt. Lag putts are used when the odds are that it won't go in. Finally, unforced error ... a bonehead risk taken for no good reason. Sergio hits his tee shot to 6 feet in a playoff. Goydos dunks his tee shot trying to match it. That is a forced error. If Sergio is in the center of the green and Goydos goes for the pin and rinses it then that is an unforced error. I think that people need to stop complaining and start searching for the deeper meaning. If that meaning can't be found, then by all means attack away.
Thanks, Matt, for comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comforted. And Goydos hit before Garcia.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss
The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:
Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)
What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.
Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.
Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.
Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.
Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.
Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win
Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.
He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.
Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:
Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'
Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.
Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.
Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.
"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.
The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.
Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.
"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."
McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open
When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.
Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.
Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.
While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.